Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on $20 bill, Hamilton to remain on $10

'Hamilton' Fandom Helps Andrew Jackson Get Kicked Off the $20 Bill
'Hamilton' Fandom Helps Andrew Jackson Get Kicked Off the $20 Bill

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that former Treasury Secretary and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton's face will remain on the $10 bill.

Lew revealed details of the new plan to replace former President Andrew Jackson's image on the $20 bill with that of Harriet Tubman on Wednesday.


The $5 and $10 bills will get big changes as well, according to a press release from the Treasury Department. While Hamilton will remain on the front of the bill, the new $10 will honor heroes of the women's suffrage movement, depicting the historic march and honor Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul.

The back of the $5 will reimagine the depiction of the Lincoln Memorial by highlighting key moments in the civil rights movement that took place on its steps.

Lew said that the Treasury Department remains committed to unveiling the new designs for the bills by the year 2020. Earlier reports have suggested that the newly-designed currency may not be released until 2030, because of intense security measures required by law.

Reports of the change immediately drew a big response on Twitter:

Tubman was a famous 19th century abolitionist who escaped slavery and became the conductor of the Underground Railroad, a system of secret safe houses that successfully helped free hundreds of slaves. She later went on to become a spy for the Union during the Civil War.

Jackson, whose face has been on the $20 bill since 1928, was a supporter of slavery who -- as some critics have pointed out -- did not believe the United States should use paper money.

The news came hours after Ellen DeGeneres, Gabrielle Giffords, Arianna Huffington, Gloria Steinem and more penned an open letter to Secretary Lew on MAKERS early Wednesday in which they argued that a woman should also still be on the front of the $10 bill:

If recent press is correct, you intend to announce an alternate plan to redesign the $20 bill rather than immediately redesigning the $10 bill, a move that would require up to a decade of additional work before a woman takes her rightful place on the front of a US currency bill. This would undoubtedly be a major blow to the advancement of women. After all, the placement of a woman on the $10 bill is the most public sign that Washington and leaders like yourself support women. Furthermore, think of what kind of message you'd be sending our daughters by going through with the rumored interim step of putting a woman on the back of the $10 bill. Could there be a better metaphor for the second-class status that continues to limit our girls?

Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and the current face of the $10 bill, personally drove the development of the US Mint, adding to his incredible list of institutional designs as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Two centuries later, Hamilton is still a star, as the success of the Broadway show based on his life story demonstrates. Secretary Lew, in 1792, your predecessor put Miss Liberty on the front of the first dollar coin and the $10 coin currency. Yes, Hamilton chose the image of a woman to represent liberty and freedom on our nation's inaugural currency.